All the 47 Indian pilgrims, who were stranded along the Nepal-China border while returning from annual Kailash-Mansarovar 'yatra' in Tibet have been successfully evacuated, while the bodies of four people who died two weeks ago were sent home, officials said on Wednesday.
The Indian pilgrims were stranded in Purang in Tibet due to some local agitation in Nepal.
Thirty-three pilgrims, mostly old aged people were evacuated today with the help of helicopters arranged by the Indian Embassy, while 14 pilgrims have been rescued yesterday.
All the pilgrims have been taken from Purang in the Tibetan territory to Hilsa of western Nepal, from where they were flown to Nepalgunj, and they are safe, Indian Embassy spokesman Tshering W Sherpa told PTI.
Bodies of four pilgrims who died two weeks back in Mansarovar area have been sent to their kins back in India. However, there is no connection between the death and the present situation there, the Embassy sources said.
All the pilgrims stranded were safe and they were taken to a well-equipped hospital in Nepalgunj where Indian doctors are attending them, he said.
The Embassy had arranged a Russian made MI-17 helicopter yesterday from Nepal Army to bring 14 pilgrims mostly sick and old age, from Hilsa to Nepalgunj. However, the rescue operation could not continue due to bad weather in the mountain area after that.
Two helicopters of private airlines were mobilised today to resume the evacuation works. As the weather in the mountain area is extremely difficult it was not possible to fly airplanes.
The Embassy has contacted Chief District Administrator as well as Home Secretary for necessary helps. Now the evacuation of the pilgrims has been completed, the embassy sources said.
Besides the area being high altitude the entire area around the site where the pilgrims were stranded was closed due to internal political turmoil, which makes the rescue works difficult.
The Embassy staff had worked round the clock monitoring the situation and making contacts with Nepalese as well as Tibetan authorities to find out ways to evacuate the stranded pilgrims, who were on their way back to Nepal.
Although local media reports here said that some eight pilgrims have died in Mansarovar due to high altitude, the Indian Embassy has so far confirmed only four as dead. Now the strike is over in the area and remaining pilgrims can come on their own, sources said.